If the pandemic has taught us anything, we have realized what it means to steward all that God has entrusted into our care. We are caretakers of people, services, places, and resources, each deeply impacted by the changes of the past year. As we reflect on this time, consider the areas of Stewardship below and the opportunities before you.
Stewards of our congregations
We cannot count on those connections we used to make on Sunday morning, catching up with people we know and meeting new people. To stay connected in this season takes lots of energy and time. It requires more one-on-one connection by phone and email and other means of communication.
How well does your website communicate the status of worship and study and outreach opportunities? Who have you not heard from lately who might need a call, a card, or a socially-distanced visit?
Stewards of worship and faith formation
Many congregations are worshipping online using Zoom, Facebook, or YouTube. Some congregations are conducting in-person worship, but it is limited to a small number of people. We conduct meetings and Bible studies by Zoom and do drive-through activities for special services.
What technology do you need to reach more of your congregation? Are you interested in learning more about other types of online worship that might reach more people?
Stewards of our property
It is important to maintain and support those sacred spaces we love so that when the time comes, we can return to them and feel safe and healthy. This might be a good time to do some deferred maintenance or renovations that are hard to accomplish when the facility is in full use.
What does our facility need to be ready for our return to in-person worship? What protocols are we prepared to implement so that we can be together as soon as possible?
Stewards of community
One of the ways we have been challenged during the pandemic is being able to do the kinds of outreach in our communities that are so meaningful and needed. This is a good time to revisit your mission priorities and identify unmet needs in your local community and among your congregation.
What needs have been revealed in your community? Is it possible to create a partnership to meet those special needs?
Stewards of resources
Our congregations are generous and resilient, choosing wisely how to use the resources they have and being sensitive to those who are struggling and unable to do what they have done in the past. It is time to think differently about budgets and spreadsheets.
Instead of an annual budget, would a quarterly budget allow space for adjustments throughout the year? What if you talked more about the ministries you are doing and less about the ministries you are unable to do?
Stewardship is everything we do after we say “we believe.” For assistance with your Stewardship program, contact Deborah Rexrode, POJ’s associate for Stewardship. Or read her blog at pojstewardship.com.
In lieu of their usual Ash Wednesday service this year, Hebron Church in Manakin-Sabot created Lenten kits for members to pick up at the church and use at home. The kits contained a unique devotional guide, along with potting materials and seeds assembled by volunteers. The theme of the devotional guide is “Rooted in God’s Promises,” and its weekly meditations correspond with the planting and growing of the flower seeds.
Culpeper Church delivered a pizza lunch to staff and volunteers working a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the local middle school.